Local Structural and Optical Characterization of Photonic Crystals by Back Focal Plane Imaging and Spectroscopy

by Rebecca Wagner

Institution: Universität Leipzig
Department: Physik und Geowissenschaften
Degree: PhD
Year: 2015
Record ID: 1116630
Full text PDF: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bsz:15-qucosa-164382


This thesis establishes methods to locally and effciently detect the fluorescence from photonic crystals (PCs) in dependence on wavelength and direction. These are applied to three dimensional (3D) PCs grown by vertical deposition of polystyrene beads. The experiments allow conclusions about the local 3D structure of a sample, about defects in its volume and about spatial structural variations. They thus provide more information than typical spectroscopy measurements that average over large areas and methods that only image the surface structure like scanning electron microscopy. A focused laser is used to excite emitters in the sample only locally. The fluorescence is then collected by a microscope objective. Every point in this objective’s back focal plane (BFP) corresponds to a certain direction. This property is utilized in two ways. When observing a small spectral range of the emission in the BFP, stop bands appear as intensity minima since they hinder the emission into the corresponding directions. Thus, back focal plane imaging (BFPI) allows to visualize stop bands of many directions at the same time. The detected patterns permit to find the in-plane and out-of-plane orientation of the PC lattice and to conclude on the presence of stacking faults. Spatial variations of the structure are observed on a length scale of a few micrometers. The depth of the stop band is reduced at sample positions, where structural changes occur. In back focal plane spectroscopy (BFPS), a slit selects light from certain points in the BFP, which is spectrally dispersed subsequently. This allows to record spectra from many directions simultaneously. From them, a lattice compression along the sample normal of about 4% is found. Small deformations are also observed for other directions. Scattering at defects redistributes the emission. This increases the detected intensity compared to homogeneous media at some stop band edges in a broad spectral range for samples thicker than the scattering mean free path. Thinner samples show a narrow enhancement due to an increase in the fractional density of optical states and thus in emission. BFPI and BFPS are also used to observe the growth of PCs from drying droplets. The experiments show that the beads initially form a non-close packed lattice. This causes stress as the lattice constant decreases, which is released by cracking of the PCs.